US stocks jump 2 per cent on jobs report, Draghi comments

NEW YORK (AFP) - US stocks jumped more than 2 per cent on Friday following a solid jobs report and comments from European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi signalling potential further stimulus for the euro zone economy.

Analysts said the rally, which began in the morning after the jobs report and picked up pace after Draghi's midday remarks, was also fuelled a buy-the-dip impulse after Thursday's rout.

"Here we see again the incredible resilience and optimism in this market," said Michael James, managing director of equity trading at Wedbush Securities.

"Any pullback for the most part has been a buying opportunity for most of the year, and today's action demonstrates that again today."

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 369.96 points (2.12 per cent) at 17,847.63.

The broad-based S&P 500 climbed 42.07 (2.05 per cent) to 2,091.69, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 104.74 (1.44 per cent) to 5,142.27.

The Labour Department reported the US added a solid 211,000 jobs in November, raising expectations the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates this month.

The report showed strong hiring in a broad range of industries, including construction, retail trade, finance and business services. While wage growth remained slow, the report overall indicated a firming of the jobs market.

Draghi, speaking in New York one day after the ECB's moves to expand stimulus fell short of market expectations, said the central bank would intensify efforts to support the euro zone economy if conditions did not improve.

"There is no doubt that if we had to intensify the use of our instruments to ensure that we achieve our price stability mandate, we would," he said.

Banking stocks pushed higher on expectations that increased US interest rates will boost bank profits. Dow member JPMorgan Chase rose 3.2 per cent, Citigroup 3 per cent and Wells Fargo 2.7 per cent.

Big technology companies were also winners, with Apple adding 3.3 per cent, Microsoft 3.2 per cent and Google 1.9 per cent.

Some oil services companies experienced substantial drops, with Weatherford International losing 4.5 per cent and Transocean 3.9 per cent after the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries announced no change in the cartel's production, despite the big drop in oil prices.

Other oil services companies fell only marginally, including Halliburton and Schlumberger, which lost 0.3 per cent and 0.1 per cent, respectively. Dow members ExxonMobil and Chevron rose 0.6 per cent and 1 per cent.

Pipeline company Kinder Morgan plunged 12.7 per cent after announcing it would review its dividend policy, a statement that raised speculation it will cut the payment.